Licensed Products and Certificates of Informed Consent
Veterinary drugs are classified under the Medicines Act 1968 into various categories just like human medicines. Some you can buy over the counter without any prescription and others are prescription only medicines, (POM). The Medicines (Restrictions on the Administration of Veterinary Medicinal Products) Regulations 1994 was put in place to implement parts of an EC directive on veterinary medicines and has had some effects on our prescribing methods.
In theory we should not administer any medicinal product to an animal unless the product has been granted a Product Licence for treatment of the particular condition in the species being treated. This is an ideal way of ensuring the safety of the drug in question since a Product Licence would not have been granted unless very exhaustive tests had been carried out. This is an expensive procedure and many drugs are used only occasionally or in numerically small species and in consequence the cost has precluded the application for a Product Licence.
For example it may be known by experience that a particular human pain killer works well in pet rabbits but the drug will not have a Product Licence for use in that species, or for that condition since the cost of tests to obtain the product licence in the rabbit would then make it too expensive.
Therefore under certain circumstances the veterinary surgeon has to ask the owner to sign a certificate of informed consent. This is consent to use an unlicensed product but a drug which is acknowledged as being useful in the treatment of the condition in that particular species.
The reason for asking you to sign this form is solely to make you aware that if any reaction should occur, neither the practice nor the manufacturer of the drug can be held responsible. If you do have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.